×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Best Buy Is Selling Ubuntu

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the but-wait-you-also-get dept.

Linux Business 656

SirLurksAlot writes "It appears that Best Buy is now selling Ubuntu, both through its Web site and in its brick-and-mortar locations. Going by the release on the product page, Ubuntu has actually been available for the low, low price of $19.99 since May 6th of this year. It is being packaged as the 'Complete Edition.' While they don't specify on the site what version is being offered, a quick call to a local store revealed it to be Hardy Heron, the latest Long Term Support version. How did this development fly under the radar for over two months without anybody noticing?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

656 comments

It flew under the radar (5, Insightful)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114795)

because verily nobody is stupid enough to buy something they can download legally! Right? Right!? I mean come on, people don't even buy stuff they can download illegally anymore ...

Re:It flew under the radar (1)

EchoD (1031614) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114833)

That's about right. If you're looking for Ubuntu, you don't typically go buy it – and if you come across it at Best Buy, you're not going to know what it is. Who buys stuff they don't need?

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Informative)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115307)

Who buys stuff they don't need?

A wise man once said: "It's amazing the things people would rather have than money."

=Smidge=

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Insightful)

Viflux (1173577) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114839)

because verily nobody is stupid enough to buy something they can download legally! Right? Right!? I mean come on, people don't even buy stuff they can download illegally anymore ...

True, except things like this have a habit of gaining legitimacy in the "mainstream" when you're allowed to pay for them. Unfortunately, $20 isn't enough. People will think it's a 2nd rate product since the cost is so much lower than Windows.

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115161)

Yes, i know a lot of fairly competent people that have been effected by the marketing strategy of the BSA and RIAA.They now think that anything free is somehow illegal or filled with viruses. For many the entire concept of giving away ones work is completely foreign to them.

Its also nice to have a nice shiny permanent CD ROM instead of a less then permanent CDR.

This also helps people that would not have a clue how to download and burn something.

Does any support come with this?

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Insightful)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115339)

Given this hypothetical person who has no clue on how to download and burn something... Do you really think he's magically gonna have a clue on how to install Ubuntu?????

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Insightful)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115201)

I agree 100%. What needs to happen, IMO, if Ubuntu wants to gain any credibility with the mainstream is that a company needs to package it, sell it for a higher price, and include a tech support service line much like MS's. Advertise it as having 2-3 years of technical support but don't make mention that what you're actually paying for is the tech support itself. Seriously, in a business atmosphere you're paying for the tech support more than you're paying for the product.

Besides, according to all the Linites around here, it's 100x's more stable than Windows, the naming convention of the programs isn't confusing at all, the file system makes perfect sense, and hardware support is a thing of the past. So, this should be money in the bank, right?

Re:It flew under the radar (2, Insightful)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115265)

In the same way that Walmart customers think all Walmart's products are 2nd rate since the cost is so much lower than elsewhere?

Re:It flew under the radar (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114845)

Shareware shows that sometimes you can get people to pay more for free software than for pay software.

I'm quite happy to have shelled out more this year for shareware than retailware.

Re:It flew under the radar (4, Informative)

tomtomtom777 (1148633) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114883)

Shareware shows that sometimes you can get people to pay more for free software than for pay software.

What do you mean? Shareware is not free software by any definition of free.

Re:It flew under the radar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115087)

Shareware shows that sometimes you can get people to pay more for free software than for pay software.

What do you mean? Shareware is not free software by any definition of free.

Sure it is. I mean.... aside from all the trojans and crap.

Re:It flew under the radar (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115095)

That first episode of Wolfenstein 3D was a full game in and of itself. I'm sure they made a lot of sales of the rest of the episodes just based on that free version. Same goes for Commander Keen and Duke Nukem. Give people are really good experience with the "demo" and they are a lot more likely to go out and buy the full version.

Re:It flew under the radar (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115271)

This was only true before things were commonly fileshared and accessable.

Now, if something has online/multiplayer and I deem it more worthy than just it's singleplayer, then I'll buy it. Otherwise, a quick trip to piratebay for the full-game test run will determine if its even worth my time, let alone money.

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Informative)

Christopher_Olah (1317943) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114923)

because verily nobody is stupid enough to buy something they can download legally! Right? Right!? I mean come on, people don't even buy stuff they can download illegally anymore ...

They're not just selling Ubuntu. They're selling Ubuntu with support. The support is what people are paying for.

Re:It flew under the radar (4, Informative)

Madball (1319269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115069)

They're not just selling Ubuntu. They're selling Ubuntu with support. The support is what people are paying for.

Maybe this is a level, but from all indications this is standard Ubuntu with standard support (i.e. go look it up on the forums).

Re:It flew under the radar (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115247)

Yeah, but they have a modem pool connected to an automated message telling you to go to the forums!

It might also ask you if you've restarted your computer, or tried booting into Safe Mode.

Re:It flew under the radar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115197)

Yeah, right...

Customer: "I can't get my VR goggles to work."
BB support: "Duhhhh.... d'ya look on the Ubuntu forums?? Hmm."

Re:It flew under the radar (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115325)

I seriously doubt it comes with technical support (especially phone). Most likely the "Long term support" that is included is just long term updates (which are freely available). They may include X number of web/email tickets or something (X being a very low number), but support is very expensive to run, and they aren't going to provide much of it for $20.

Re:It flew under the radar (2, Insightful)

fgaliegue (1137441) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114935)

I wouldn't interpret it that way:

>How did this development fly under the radar for over two months without anybody noticing?

1. People browsing BestBuy on their Ubuntu-"enhanced" Firefox already have it installed.
2. Previous (7.x) Ubuntu users have already been offered an upgrade to 8.x already, via the update manager.
3. Ubuntu users already seem content with what they have and don't see any interest of upgrading, if they haven't done so already, see point 2.
4. It's not like Ubuntu has launched a mass ad campaign about their product, and told everyone "hey, get it on BestBuy!".
5. [pure personal intuition] Nowadays, mouth-to-mouth is still the best way to spread Ubuntu, or any Linux distro, and hey, the initial mouths know where to get it, and that won't be Best Buy. And that relates to your comment.

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115139)

5. [pure personal intuition] Nowadays, mouth-to-mouth is still the best way to spread Ubuntu, or any Linux distro, and hey, the initial mouths know where to get it, and that won't be Best Buy. And that relates to your comment.

Emphasis is mine.

Either this guy is only telling women about Ubuntu, or I'm glad he didn't tell me about Ubuntu!

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115291)

5. [pure personal intuition] Nowadays, mouth-to-mouth is still the best way to spread Ubuntu, or any Linux distro, and hey, the initial mouths know where to get it, and that won't be Best Buy. And that relates to your comment.

Emphasis is mine.

Either this guy is only telling women about Ubuntu, or I'm glad he didn't tell me about Ubuntu!

I would guess that fgaliegue is a native Spanish speaker. "Word-of-mouth" is "boca a boca" in Spanish, literally "mouth to mouth".

Re:It flew under the radar (5, Insightful)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114959)

When I was on dial-up I bought my first copy. About $20 with a book that was very helpful to me.

Re:It flew under the radar (2, Insightful)

Maarek (213279) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115177)

There are people out there that do not trust the sites and would rather BUY the CD and use that. It's a feeling of ownership and that they've earned the product. It's what's been drilled into their heads over the years that nothing is free.

Re:It flew under the radar (4, Funny)

petecarlson (457202) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115263)

If they were already running Ubuntu or another modern operating system I would agree with you but that's not the case. The target market is people running Win98/Me/Vista. The 98/me folks can't get the piece of crap to burn a CD while the suckers who bought vista can't get networking to work right.

Re:It flew under the radar (2, Insightful)

Roy Hobbs (1267752) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115319)

Keeping the offering under the radar was to Best Buy's advantage. They most likely used a little effort to keep it quiet. If everyone was aware that they were selling someone you could download for free, or even order a free CD of, there would be no benefit to selling it in the first place.

Free (1)

monkikuso (1062016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114801)

Because no one is stupid enough to even look to pay for something that is free.

Re:Free (5, Insightful)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114925)

Non-techies are in general scared of downloading programs from the internet.

In my experience if software is available in a package with a reasonable price tag people feel better about using it. It may be worth $20 to someone to not have to download and burn the software, the package may also contain information on how to find support.

Re:Free (1)

In hydraulis (1318473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115199)

Also, if they do somehow manage to delete every photo, every irreplaceable personal file on their drive, they (in their mind) have the recourse of being able to blame *someone*.

Re:Free (1)

xalorous (883991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115189)

Downloading the files from the net isn't free. Figure a total of one hour labor to locate and start the download then return to burn the disks. Is your time worth $20/hour?

Wait... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24114819)

wtf? I thought you weren't allowed to actually "sell" Ubuntu for money? (Besides, of course, ordering the cd from Ubuntu for like $1)

Break out the beer folks, this one's gotta be good.

Re:Wait... (5, Informative)

rpp3po (641313) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114891)

wtf? I thought you weren't allowed to actually "sell" Ubuntu for money? (Besides, of course, ordering the cd from Ubuntu for like $1)

Break out the beer folks, this one's gotta be good.

Absolutely nothing in the GPL states that you couldn't sell it (as long as you include the source code). So keep your beer and actually read the terms you are talking about next time.

Re:Wait... (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115057)

wtf? I thought you weren't allowed to actually "sell" Ubuntu for money? (Besides, of course, ordering the cd from Ubuntu for like $1)

Break out the beer folks, this one's gotta be good.

Absolutely nothing in the GPL states that you couldn't sell it (as long as you include the source code).

But are they?

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115223)

They don't need to include the source (Ubuntu doesn't on their CDs either). They just need to offer the option. If someone asks, they can always download the source and burn it on the spot.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115275)

EULAs are not enforceable in court. The terms don't matter either way.

Re:Wait... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115279)

Last time i read the GPL ( i admit its been a while, version 1 i think.. ) you don't even have to include the source. You only have to make it available "at cost" for people that request it.

Re:Wait... (5, Informative)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114919)

as predicted the break down of posts so far is

- idiot! why would I buy anything I can download for free
- doh! they'll return it when they realise that Windows SW does not work
- how can you sell something when it is given away freely?

They can sell it for as much as they want as long as they preserve the license - they are only selling the CD manufacturing and packaging as a service.

Ans I think this has all been a little unsupportive.

Frankly I support any and all efforts to make Linux more widespread, and a great many people will feel happier with a pressed CD instead of a cheapo burnt one. Yes we can download it, but we are NOT the target audience here.

And, to be honest, I'm just happy enough that it is now considered possible to sell it in best buy - that would of been unthinkable a few years ago.

If this caters for a new audience, or gets even a few thousand more people using it - then fair play to them.

Desktop marketshare (1, Interesting)

hotsauce (514237) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114823)

Because, frankly, no one cares?

What is your major malfunction ingrate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115233)

You kommie hating swine pig bear man you !!

is it legal to sell it? (-1, Redundant)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114831)

Can they legally sell ubuntu, or is it a charge for pre-installation, or just a very expensive cd? Or does it come with support?

Re:is it legal to sell it? (3, Informative)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114875)

GPL says they can do anything with the code as long as it remains GPL. That includes selling it.

Or am I missing something?

Re:is it legal to sell it? (1, Redundant)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114981)

But are Best Buy offering to supply the source code? They have to do that if they distribute GPL software.

Re:is it legal to sell it? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115085)

Why wouldn't they? If someone actually buys it from them and demands the source, they can just download from Ubuntu and burn it on the spot, and they'll still be very much ahead.

Re:is it legal to sell it? (0)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114889)

I would assume that, since the blurb says it's "the latest Long Term Support version," it includes some form of long term support.

Re:is it legal to sell it? (2, Informative)

sseaman (931799) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115091)

I would assume that, since the blurb says it's "the latest Long Term Support version," it includes some form of long term support.

No, Long Term Support (LTS) refers to Canonical's commitment to supporting a major release (which are only released biannually) for 5 years, mostly, AFAIK, through patches. It does not refer to Canonical or Best Buy's commitment to offering other kinds of tech support.

Re:is it legal to sell it? (1)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115141)

I would assume that, since the blurb says it's "the latest Long Term Support version," it includes some form of long term support.

Bzzz, sorry, thanks for playing.

Re-read what you just said: "the latest Long Term Support version"

This just means that you're getting the same version you'd get *if* you paid for support, it doesn't mean that you yourself are getting support.

Re:is it legal to sell it? (1)

Madball (1319269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115143)

I would assume that, since the blurb says it's "the latest Long Term Support version," it includes some form of long term support.

Despite what one may infer from the somewhat misleading https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LTS [ubuntu.com] , the "support" in Long Term Support (LTS) means that they will provide bug fixes and software updates for 3/5 years. It does not mean that you'll get direct professional support (e.g. actual tickets with an SLA, toll-free live-person support, etc).

Re:is it legal to sell it? (1)

tomtomtom777 (1148633) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114921)

The're is nothing wrong with selling it. It can even be useful for people who don't have a fast internet connection.

What I don't understand is that they label the publisher to be ValuSoft

WTF is ValuSoft ??!??

Re:is it legal to sell it? (3, Informative)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115031)

ValuSoft is a division of THQ. They publish and distribute (usually inexpensive and crappy) games and software. I would imagine they are the ones that produce the disc, box, and booklets that come with this Ubuntu package and they handle distributing it to stores. I'd be interested to see if the box has anything on it about the sort of tech support you can get. I kind of doubt ValuSoft is handling tech support for Ubuntu. That seems beyond their scope.

Re:is it legal to sell it? (2, Informative)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115045)

Valusoft is a division of THQ (game publisher) that sells cheap software which includes both games and productivity software. I'm assuming they've arranged some sort of deal to be able to distribute Ubuntu to retailers.

AFAIK, it's not only being sold at best buy but at Amazon and other places.

I like the customer reviews... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24114835)

'Cons: Doesn't come in Ultimate and Premier editions'

Ha ha.

Becase (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24114843)

Nobody who knows anything about computers shops at Best Buy.

Not going to fly... (4, Interesting)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114847)

I used to buy Linux... specifically SuSE 5.x an 6.x editions. I didn't have high speed internet at the time, so it was cheaper to buy the CDs and download any new patches/software via dialup. At the time Linux was both a hobby diversion and the only alternative I could see to putting an OS on my computer since Windows 95/98 was rather expensive to buy.

While I think BestBuy should be congratulated for putting Ubuntu in stores, even if they are charging $20 for it (wayyyy cheap compared to Windows Vista or XP). I predict it will not go well for them, however, mostly because high speed internet is so widespread and as usual people will buy it and bring it back when they can't run The Sims or whatever Windows game they run.

Re:Not going to fly... (5, Insightful)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114977)

The store version makes a better Christmas present than a downloaded-sharpie version.

Re:Not going to fly... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115007)

While I think BestBuy should be congratulated for putting Ubuntu in stores, even if they are charging $20 for it (wayyyy cheap compared to Windows Vista or XP). I predict it will not go well for them,

Its a bit like that website where you could buy a copy of firefox. It is cheap to maintain and it gets a few customers. It probably doesn't cost much for Best Buy to stock boxes of Ubuntu, and a few people will buy it, even if by accident.

Great news! (5, Interesting)

Daryen (1138567) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114849)

If you have friends or family with an older PC that aren't very technically skilled, chances are it's a Windows PC and it's infested with malware. More than likely, they have a CD burner but don't know how to use it, or their computer is so slow it won't even burn CDs. Sometimes the PC will be running Windows 98, which is a bit of a security risk these days.

.
Why not have them get Ubuntu for $20 at Best Buy? The fact that you can buy it at a brick and mortar store increases it's apparent validity as an operating system, and it has open office and firefox right out of the box, so the functionality they're used to is still there.

Another point: Why not buy a copy of Ubuntu yourself to drive up support for Linux? If sales analysts see that X number of Ubuntu boxes were sold from Best Buys than it's likely we'll see more and more vendor support for linux coming out.

Re:Great news! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115011)

Another point: Why not buy a copy of Ubuntu yourself to drive up support for Linux? If sales analysts see that X number of Ubuntu boxes were sold from Best Buys than it's likely we'll see more and more vendor support for linux coming out.

-Because I'd like to be able to sleep at night.

Re:Great news! (3, Insightful)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115039)

I don't think buying Ubuntu is supporting Linux at all. It's supporting Best Buy if anything. If I want to support linux by paying I'll just donate on their website.

Re:Great news! (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115103)

No no no!

If you want to support Linux you need to have the big players backing Linux. When best buy put Linux on the shelves you need to show them there is a market interest in Linux - slowly customers will come asking for Linux games/programs, then best buy will go ask their suppliers for games/programs, and suddenly the market will start catering to Linux.

Re:Great news! (3, Interesting)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115195)

Ubuntu don't need your money, they have millions already. They need someone at best buy to notice demand for it, so best buy continue to put it on shelves, and ask their suppliers for more ubuntu software they can sell you along with the OS. At this stage best buy making $20 on Linux is better than you donating $20 to development.

Re:Great news! (2, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115169)

That's great. As long as they don't own a laptop (laptop audio and wireless support is still problematic out-of-the-box), run into any other unsupported software, or need to install anything. Otherwise you'll probably end up setting it up for them.

I recently switched from Vista to Kubuntu (8.04), and the process was anything but smooth. Getting full audio support working required me to write custom bash scripts to handle volume changes and muting. Wireless is still iffy, as it required ndiswrapper, doesn't work with the built-in wireless tools (custom configs required), and even still has a hacky DHCP setup that fails if it takes longer than 5 seconds to associate.

Weeks later, I'm still running into things that just don't work properly, requiring me to write scripts, edit config files, and generally muck about with things.

Oh yeah, and my printer, a $100 Canon (MP470) requires a $45 proprietary print driver (which is 32-bit only). Fun.

In short, while Ubuntu and Linux have made great strides on the desktop, I still wouldn't want my parents using it. I'd have to spend tens of hours setting things up for them, and even then it wouldn't necessarily "just work".

Re:Great news! (1)

vally_manea (911530) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115311)

I don't know what laptop you have but on my brand new Lenovo T61 everything worked out of the box, which on Windows was unheard of...

but when you try to buy it in stores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24114859)

they show you the other Best Buy web site where the list price of Ubuntu is $49.99, including two years of online community support.

Cheapo kiosks (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114863)

It's been unnoticed probably because it was displayed in those unbranded cheapo kiosks selling Phantasmagoria for 9.99$ and Outpost for 4.99$

Best Buy review (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24114873)

Customer Rating: 5.0

Worth every penny and then some 07/08/2008
By StarReviewer from Moronville, KY Read all my reviews

Pros: Cheap, includes office software, robust
Cons: Doesn't come in Ultimate and Premier editions

"I could go on and on, but Ubuntu Linux is the way to go. I have been using Windows XP for at least 3 years and when Vista was released, I went and upgraded to Vista Ultimate.
Even though Vista Ultimate has some really good features, I had to purchase Office software separately. Total cost of software: ~$1000.00!
That is when I said enough is enough I need to look for a new Operating System. A friend of mine pointed me to Best Buy's site and send me a link to Ubuntu. I purchased the OS and also Installation by Geek Squad for only $150.00. Even though I paid $170, I can tell you the included software was worth it. It includes office productivity software similar to Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Not only that, updates are free. Which means when they come out with a new version of Ubuntu, I don't have to pay more money - which I gladly will if I had to!
I would highly recommend this product. My only question is why doesn't it come in different flavors? I would be willing to pay for features like Media Center and stuff like that.
--Grateful computer user."

Re:Best Buy review (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115033)

I would be willing to pay for features like Media Center and stuff like that.

No charge [ubuntustudio.org]. Keep the change and go buy yourself a new haircut.

Re:Best Buy review (3, Funny)

Madball (1319269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115163)

God, I really do wish Ubuntu would come in different flavors! Like cherry, vanilla, and extra-yummy grape.

Re:Best Buy review (3, Funny)

bugeaterr (836984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115231)

By StarReviewer from Moronville, KY Read all my reviews

From Moronville?
Isn't that just outside of Dumbshitsburg?

Re:Best Buy review (1)

-Tango21- (703195) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115269)

Wow, I'm going to have to start selling it too. But, taking a page from Microsoft's playbook, I'll have different versions, like an "ultimate" knock off that comes with TrueCrypt 6 pre-installed. : )

Value added? (3, Insightful)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114929)

What I think would be smart is if they added a really good printed manual and/or Ubuntu book with it. I read through the description and couldn't find anything about extra material, but again, I think what they are doing is ok, but for a non-expert, a really nice install guide / intro to Ubuntu would make it look more tempting than say, just downloading an .iso file and burning your own disks.

Bottled Water (4, Insightful)

jordroth (933827) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114933)

Seeing as how we have been purchasing bottled water (free almost everywhere you go...) for the last decade or so, it shouldn't come as too big a shock......

U.S. Only (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114947)

Apparently, this is for U.S. customers only. bestbuy.ca doesn't sell Ubuntu.

All in all, this is great news though. The fact that they charge $20 has some zealots complaining, but I think that any exposure for non-Windows OS's is great. The fact that Best Buy will install it for customers is better news still.

Hopefully they follow up by selling PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed.

Simple Answer... (2, Funny)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114983)

How did this development fly under the radar for over two months without anybody noticing?

The answer is obvious - real geeks don't shop at Best Buy. We shop at Future Shop. ;)

Re:Simple Answer... (2, Informative)

debest (471937) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115225)

(for those outside of Canada and didn't get the joke...)

Future Shop is essentially identical to Best Buy. They sell the same products (audio/video, computers, appliances, music/games), with the same huges floor spaces and the same useless staffs. Same shit, different interior design.

Future Shop has been around for a couple of decades here, then Best Buy moved in as competition several years ago. Shortly thereafter, Best Buy bought out Future Shop, but didn't merge the operations. In fact, they still "compete", oftentimes with brand new stores being built directly across the street from each other.

ValuSoft (0, Redundant)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24114997)

The publisher of this boxed release of Ubuntu Linux is ValuSoft according to Best Buy website. Going on the ValuSoft website, I found they're a *cheap stuff* publishing company, and even worse, I couldn't find Ubuntu on their own web site...

This makes me ask the question: Why don't they sell it on their website too if it's such a good idea to sell it?

Now sell computers without the Windows tax... (5, Insightful)

stevegee58 (1179505) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115021)

Now if they can start selling computers without the Windows tax, we'd be all set.

Has to be pre-installed... (-1, Flamebait)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115037)

Lets see...

Your average Joe already paid for Windows. So now for $19.99 he can have the pleasure of doing an OS install? Which he has no clue about and for his purposes Ubuntu isn't even as good as Windows because inevitably the kids want to play some game or he has some app that won't (easily) run under Linux.

I doubt Best Buy thinks it is a real big deal. Not even sure why they're bothering. I'd guess a PHB someplace thought "We should sell this Linux thing, it might be getting popular." lol.

Now, if BB will INSTALL it for me, and support it, and make sure the hardware they sell me works with it, and let me buy a machine sans windoze tax, then it starts to be interesting.

Perhaps it was that 400% markup... (0)

Ora*DBA (101576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115059)

So let's see...$1 max to produce the CD...maybe $1.50 for fancy packaging and shrink-wrap...fuel is up, so let's generously assign it $1.00 for its place on a pallet in a 40-foot trailer...and, say, $.50 for sales overhead and carrying costs...leaving us a grand total of $16 or so profit. And that is conservative.

Their TV prices s**k too.

They should charge $450 (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115061)

Seriously. In the mind of Joe Sixpack (who shops at Best Buy for his computer gear), software that costs more than Vista should be better than Vista. I'm sure there would be people who would buy it, and it might even raise more awareness with the higher price. There are plenty of examples of when higher prices drove demand up. In the absence of other knowledge, consumers will assume something that costs more is worth more.

Let me be the first to say (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115077)

This story is a non-story. Anyone can charge whatever they want to distribute free software - I could charge a trillion dollars for a copy of ls if I wanted to. The problem for the seller is that the buyer can turn around and give the software away. Thus, market forces keep the price at about zero dollars.

More importantly, I hate the Ubuntu names. They are the main reason why I avoid the operating system. "hardy heron" my foot. Alliteration is the lowest form of wordplay; it's nauseating enough when it's used once; when it's used repeatedly, it becomes aggravating. To top it off, every time someone complains about the stupid names, fanbois rush to the defense, saying that they are just 'code names'; that the real version names are the version numbers. My foot. Every mention of a ubuntu version that I see - such as this slashdot story - uses the putative 'code names'. Someone at ubuntu central needs to grow up and stop trying to be clever.

Hey, I need this! (3, Interesting)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115089)

This past weekend, I decided to try to rehabilitate an old (1996 BIOS) laptop into an externally facing home web server. Hey, guess what? My hardware doesn't support home-burned CDs! I was just starting to look for a distro available in a pressed CD format. I'm glad to find out I can run down to Best Buy on my way home from work and just pick one up.

Re:Hey, I need this! (1)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115333)

This past weekend, I decided to try to rehabilitate an old (1996 BIOS) laptop into an externally facing home web server. Hey, guess what? My hardware doesn't support home-burned CDs! I was just starting to look for a distro available in a pressed CD format. I'm glad to find out I can run down to Best Buy on my way home from work and just pick one up.

That's not your BIOS, it's your optical drive. I've seen CD (NOT -R) drives that read burned discs just fine, but will not offer them for boot. Try another optical drive.

It's called Free for a reason. (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115123)

Free as in Freedom, that is. Like it or not, Free means being able to charge for it if you want to. If someone wants to take Ubuntu's gift to the world and sell it, that's their right under the GPL. And someone will buy it. Distasteful? Sure. But you can't have this "Freedom" thing both ways.

Re:It's called Free for a reason. (1)

Madball (1319269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115259)

I'm still confused by this theory that selling OSS is distasteful (assuming, of course, you are not relabeling as something you created, violating the license, or any of those things).

Basically, if you add a distribution stream, it can increase consumption. This is "good". Some distribution streams add more cost and overhead than others via packaging, marketing, and markups. This is still "good" if you reach a consumer that you not have reached via other methods.

Would you like our "Geek Squad" extended Warranty? (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115185)

"Would you like our "Geek Squad" extended Warranty? It's only $50 a year!"

Since they practically try to get you to sign up for some protection plan or another for just about everything you buy at Best Buy (except candy and soda right before you check out I believe).

If I were to hear this I don't know if I would cringe or just uncontrollably laugh.

All kidding aside, yeah $20 for Ubuntu is a little funny to US, but at least its exposing it to the general populace, who honestly, aren't going to hunt it down, or look into it, but may, stumble across it, online. It brings it more up front which is a good thing.

Canonical will mail you a copy for free... (5, Informative)

itamblyn (867415) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115211)

If you have a slow connection or you don't have a burner, you can get a pretty looking CD from Canonical by mail. They don't even charge for shipping. https://shipit.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com]

I like that! (1)

aslamc (1192041) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115219)

Its a good move by bestbuy to sell ubuntu... Yea I see that ubuntu is being sold while you can get it all for free but how many people do you really see around that have any idea about linux and how it works... Once they get used to it, it'll just as simple as using windows although we all know linux is a little more complicated sometimes... Everything works but sometimes you need work around stuff... Eventhough they are selling it, they are increasing the popularity and support is what a lot of people look for even on windows and now when they can just drive to next block and figure things out it just gives people a little more courage to put it to use.

A curious market (1, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115235)

Let's assume most people in BestBuy that have computers already have Windows. How are they going to use Ubuntu exactly? Last time I checked, most Linux distros can use free space to sit alongside Windows or blitz it completely and sit on top. Most machines don't have any free space....

This isn't a troll, I'll be real interested how many people accidentally pick the latter option without realising the consequences.
This should fly with geeks, but if too many joe sixpacks end up bombing their partitions accidentally, it could backfire?

20 bucks is a steal... (1)

djsath (1014027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115249)

I remember seeing RedHat sold at "Software, Etc" when I was about 13 years old. Curious about this alternative operating system, I went to the Waldenbooks next door and looked for books about RedHat in the "computer" section. A lot of the books about RedHat, or Linux in general, came with CDs filled with different distributions. If it wasn't for those books and stuff, I don't think I would have ever used or really known that much about Linux. People spend a lot of time in stores...you never know what might peak their interest ;)

It's free if you download (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115257)

I'm pretty sure you can just download it for free.
http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu

It's all about legitimacy (2, Informative)

Beergeek0064 (744304) | more than 5 years ago | (#24115273)

Let's face it -- if it isn't something that comes in a colorful box with a nice shiny-paged booklet and screenprinted CD, some folks won't touch it. Case in point is my uncle. He's somewhat computer savvy but doesn't trust anything that you can "just download off the intarnets" -- to his way of thinking it's not legitimate software unless it comes in a professionally produced package.

I "get it" of course (and have since 1998... :) ), but that mythical "average computer user" we keep hearing about will probably find it comforting to get their dose of Ubuntu through a "legitimate" source, like Best Buy (meh).

Frankly, anything that will show the suits that Linux (pick your flavor) has sufficient market-share and penetration on the desktop is a Good Thing -- sales equals maturity/legitimacy.

Cheers,

BeerGeek

Best Buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24115337)

Q: How did this development fly under the radar for over two months without anybody noticing?

A: Because it's BEST BUY!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...